|The ice is out on Lake Minnetonka for 2013.
The Freshwater Society, which since the 1960s has called when the ice is out for the season, declared the lake ice-free as of about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, May 2. It was the third time in a nearly complete 158-year record that ice-out has occurred on that date.
This year’s ice-out is 42 days later than last year, when an unusually warm early spring produced open water on March 21. And the ice-out this year is tied for the third-latest recorded ice-out on the lake.
The median date – half are earlier and half are later — for ice-out on Lake Minnetonka is April 14.
Ice-out on Lake Minnetonka is a sign of spring that scientists, naturalists and lakeshore residents have been tracking and recording since at least 1855. Freshwater Society founder Dick G, who catalogued the early records and has made his own records since 1968, described the standard for determining ice-out in a 2003 column: “when it is possible to travel by small boat from any one shore to any other shore through any passage on the lake.”
Courtesy of Freshwater Society